Islanders Looking Forward To Freight Deliveries Again Today

Empty shelves yesterday as the Co-op awaited supplies

Empty shelves yesterday as the Co-op awaited supplies

Islanders and retailers are looking forward to freight making it through from the mainland this afternoon.

The Gry Maritha has been out of action since it hit Crow Rock on the 30th December, and has been undergoing repairs.

But it’s reported as leaving Penzance this morning at 7am.

Stocks of some produce are running low after days of weather disruption, with shop shelves cleared of most fruit and veg. The Co-op’s Deborah Clark says their latest delivery has been waiting for transfer at the quay on the mainland since yesterday.

Island Butcher Alex Plowman has run out of meat and is focusing solely on bread sales, after a supply of yeast came by air.

Alex says although it’s a fact of island life, he’s only able to open for a few hours each day until his bread sells out.

The Co-op say as soon as they get supplies, their ordering system will monitor stock levels and will recognise what’s needed to replenish the store.

But the islands should be better able to cope with temporary loss of mainland links next winter.

Diana Mompoloki, the Council’s Strategic Investment Manager, says plans for a cold storage and freezer facility, as part of the harbour extension plans, should offer more resilience and a place to store goods for around three days if needed, before dispatch from the quay.

It should hold two to three extra containers of chilled and frozen foods.

The money for the quay has been secured in principle, but there’s still legal work to do.

She says the Council is also trying to improve the resilience of transport links with the work planned at the airport.

Diana feels more emphasis needs to be put on local food production and that’s why the Local Action Group has supported these types of projects, including most recently a plan to breed and process ducks on St Mary’s.

But there needs to be a change in shopping trends, says Diana, and locals should support small traders all year round, not just when the Co-op runs out.

The winter is when we usually face disruption, but one grower isn’t convinced that there’s enough demand to warrant year-round growing.

Local veg farmer Phill Deason has been selling his produce, including sweetcorn and beetroot, to hotels and to the public in the town centre on summer Saturdays.

He’s selling potatoes now, but says there isn’t the take-up from commercial kitchens closed in the winter to sustain a wider year-round range.

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